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Pedrosa wins at home in peerless display

Pedrosa wins at home in peerless display

Dani Pedrosa won the Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya with a terrific ride, taking the holeshot and never looking back.

A breakaway plan from Dani Pedrosa worked to perfection in the Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya, as he took the holeshot at his home race and never looked back. The win ended a long premier class run without a local winner in Barcelona, stretching back to 1999 and a popular triumph for Alex Criville in the 500cc category.

Keen to avoid a battle between himself and predicted podium finishers Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi, the Repsol Honda rider burst out of the blocks and set about putting space between himself and the rest of the field. A new circuit record was made by Pedrosa by the second lap, and he kept the pace up throughout the 25 lap race.

A fourth consecutive win proved a wish too far for Fiat Yamaha star Rossi, who nonetheless fulfilled expectations by fighting his way up from ninth on the grid. A penultimate lap slipstream of Stoner gave him second place, a sixth consecutive podium and, most importantly, the advantage necessary to maintain the lead in the MotoGP World Championship.

Andrea Dovizioso was spot on in his Saturday prediction, having noted that all three of last year´s rostrum finishers would repeat their form in 2008. What the JiR Team Scot rider was not so sure about was his own form, but a fourth place –equalling his previous best MotoGP finish from Qatar- was a remarkable performance for the highest placing satellite rider.

As in qualifying, the Tech 3 Yamaha pairing of Colin Edwards and James Toseland took fifth and sixth place, respectively, with the latter holding off Rizla Suzuki´s Chris Vermeulen. In a sprint to the line. Nicky Hayden, Shinya Nakano and John Hopkins completed the first ten past the chequered flag.

The race was littered with retirements at the midway point, with Alex de Angelis, Loris Capirossi and Randy de Puniet all crashing out in quick succession. Toni Elias had just a few laps earlier been shown the black flag for not obeying an order for a ride-through penalty.


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